"Positive and Negative Sea Animals"


1. Research, compile, and present information on a sea animal to the class.


1. National Geographic Magazine

Vol. 187, No. 1 Jan. 95

Vol. 188, No. 2 Aug. 95

2. Various resource books/access to school library


Fuller, Mel. (1994). Whole Language Theme Unit: The Seas. Grand Rapids: Instructional Fair, Inc.


This lesson will require 4 hours, 30 minutes to 5 hours 30 minutes. (Part 1 [2 hours]; Part 2 [30 minutes]; Part 3 [1 hour]; Part 4 [1 to 2 hours])



This lesson will introduce students to positive and negative sea life. Each student will be responsible to compile factual information on a sea animal and present their findings to the rest of the class.

Part 1:

Step 1- As a class, read aloud two articles from the National Geographic:

1) "Close Encounters with the Grey Reef Shark"

2) "Bowhead Whales"

Step 2 - As a class, discuss the articles, as they pertain to positive and negative sea life.

Discussion may include:

-stereotypes of sharks vs. whales

-media input, "Free Willy" vs. "Jaws"

Part 2:

Step 3 - Class will be divided into two groups. One group will explore "positive" sea life, while the other group explores "negative" sea life. Each group will brainstorm on compiling a list of sea life animals.

Step 4 - As a class, discuss each list of sea life and compile the data from each group on the board.

*Examples of sea life:

octopus squid starfish

lobster hermit crab jelly fish

crab eel sea lion

flounder walrus piranha

dolphin crocodile gray whale

sting ray sea horse sea turtle

otter sword fish shark

killer whale penguin manatee

Part 3:

Step 5 - Individually each student will pick a sea animal out of a hat.

Step 6 - Each student will need to find a description, behavior characteristic, and picture of their sea animal.

*A variety of resource material should be available for the students to gather information on their sea animal.

*Each student will be given a poster board to compile their information.

Part 4:

Step 7 - Each student will give an oral presentation of their sea animal to the rest of the class. They will also display their poster board.


1. Individual presentation of sea animal and poster board display. (Criteria for success= Will vary among teachers.)


1. Language Arts - Reading articles from National Geographic; Oral presentation

2. Science - Researching sea animals and their unique qualities.

3. Social Studies - Evolution of reputation of sea animal - "Positive" or "Negative"

4. Art - Creativity with poster board presentation.


1. Expanding on Endangered Species.

2. Develop a sea animal food chain.

3. Create an Amazing Facts bulletin board with all information compiled.

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